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Ohio recently enacted a ban on the use of plywood when boarding up vacant properties. Ohio is also the first state to enact a ban of this type. Property preservation has been a significant issue for many states that have areas of abandoned properties. To see a neighborhood of boarded-up houses creates a neighborhood blight issue that is hard to overcome.

Polycarbonate clear boarding is the board up the material of choice. While it resembles glass, It is also extremely hard to break and secures property without standing out, which creates less of an abandoned look. The cost is a key factor of polycarbonate vs. plywood. The cost of a typical 4 x 8 sheet of plywood is usually $ 20.00 to $30.00, while a polycarbonate sheet is closer to $115.00 - $150.00 a sheet.

Fannie Mae was an early adopter of this home preservation method. In the last several years they have retrofitted over 4,000 houses and over 11,000 properties with this type of home preservation. The official start date for Fannie Mae’s use of alternatives to plywood was November 9, 2016.

There is some opinion that the cost of polycarbonate alternative is prohibitive to lenders with REO / Banked owned properties. The other side of the argument is that this solution presents a more amenable, aesthetically pleasing option to controlling neighborhood blight. As an appraiser, a lender, or just a neighbor, what are your thoughts? Should other states be looking at this option? Is this a viable way to offset the issue of neighborhood blight that every state seems to be battling?


Video: Product Demonstration-City of Warren Oh

Source: – "Ohio Governor Signs Plywood Ban Into Law."

Source: Dayton Daily News – " Ohio’s new plywood ban on vacant houses could change Dayton’s blight."

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